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Leading Silks

Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexA leading shipping silk who also excels in commodities matters, especially highly technical cases.
Robert Bright QC - 7 King's Bench WalkCalm, methodical and creative, he approaches legal argument with an innovative mind and is always a dangerous opponent.
Simon Rainey QC - Quadrant ChambersUnquestionably a super silk. a first-class advocate with a very powerful mind who breaks a problem down into its constituent parts and leaves no stone unturned.
Richard Southern QC - 7 King's Bench WalkVery thoughtful and diligent, his courtroom demeanour and advocacy are both first-class.
Timothy Young QC - Twenty EssexHe has a long history as an effective advocate.
Michael Collett QC - Twenty EssexA leading shipping silk who is skilled in litigation and international arbitration relating to commodities.
Simon Croall QC - Quadrant ChambersA best-in-class advocate with a deep mastery of all aspects of international arbitration, he is exceedingly commercial and an excellent problem solver.
Siobán Healy QC - 7 King's Bench WalkUnassumingly superb and meticulous in preparation, she presents clear and logical advice in a user-friendly manner.
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexA first-class commodities specialist - one of the few counsel who properly understands that area of law.
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexAn excellent advocate with a great deal of experience in shipping and commodities.
Sean O’Sullivan QC - 4 Pump CourtA very good, very dependable and straightforward silk who is calm and clever.
Alistair Schaff QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA top-notch brain and a supremely assured advocate, he is diligent, incisive, efficient and fair-minded.
Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersA highly intelligent and clear commercial barrister for shipping and commodities matters.
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexA highly capable counsel who is easy to work with and highly knowledgeable.
Peter MacDonald Eggers QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA star in terms of analysis, he has a calm, measured and appealing quality as an advocate.
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexUser-friendly and hardworking, but aggressive when needed.
Chirag Karia QC - Quadrant ChambersAn excellent QC who picks the right points and handles complex disputes well.
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexA very deft and clever advocate in complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Luke Parsons QC - Quadrant ChambersA first-class advocate at the top of his game, he sets a strategy on a case quickly and effectively and follows through.
John Russell QC - Quadrant ChambersA very good, practical silk who thinks very well on his feet.
David Allen QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA good commercial silk who is strong on his feet and in cross-examination.
Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersA versatile advocate with experience in insurance, shipping, banking and commodities cases.
Michael Coburn QC - Twenty EssexA very commercial silk who always gets straight to the point.
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a great depth of knowledge and experience.
Christopher Hancock QC - Twenty EssexA first-class shipping silk who brings a user-friendly approach to commodities matters.
Dominic Kendrick QC - 7 King's Bench WalkAn experienced and knowledgeable advocate.
Stephen Kenny QC - 7 King's Bench WalkA clear thinker and a careful analyst, he is definitely a good choice for a challenging point of law.
Sara Masters QC - Twenty EssexAble to handle complex technical matters with ease.
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a wonderful manner and his intellect enables him to deftly deal with any challenge that might arise.
Vasanti Selvaratnam QC - The 36 GroupAn impressive barrister who is commercial, practical and excellent in every way.
Andrew Guy Blackwood QC - Quadrant Chambers ‘He is great on his feet and can bring judges with him, and he puts his head on the block with clear advice.
Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersAn experienced advocate, both in court and in international arbitration.
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersShe provides clear, focused advice of the highest quality and is also excellent at strategy.
Julian Kenny QC - Twenty EssexA clever silk at the number one set for commodities work.
Yash Kulkarni QC - Quadrant ChambersExtremely thorough and completely on top of the brief, he is a bright and intelligent young QC who is impressive and measured on his feet.
Thomas Macey-Dare QC - Quadrant ChambersHe masters the detail and gives firm and clear advice.
Jern-Fei Ng QC - 7BRExtremely intelligent and tactically astute, he is one of a kind and is highly sought after.
Michael Nolan QC - Quadrant ChambersAn effective advocate with a meticulous approach.

2019 Silks

Nicholas Craig QC - 3 Verulam BuildingsUnflappable and reassuring, both in court and before a tribunal, he is decisive, persuasive and strategic.
Fionn Pilbrow QC - Brick Court ChambersLeagues ahead of his contemporaries, he is the opponent everyone dreads, with an unparalleled eye for detail and for the case-winning point.

2020 Silks

Stewart Buckingham QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is knowledgeable, organised, rigorous, thorough, practical and a pleasure to work with.
Henry Byam-Cook QC - Twenty EssexA very good new silk who is very well regarded and is an impressive performer in this field.
Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexAn intelligent, efficient and hardworking new silk.

Leading Juniors

Daniel Bovensiepen - Twenty EssexA clever and thoughtful advocate for shipping and commodities cases.
Charles Debattista - The 36 GroupA junior with vast knowledge of and experience, both as counsel and arbitrator, in shipping and commodities disputes.
Richard Sarll - 7 King's Bench WalkJust brilliant, he is a powerful advocate who thinks outside the box and sees the bigger picture.
Jessica Sutherland - 7 King's Bench WalkProvides swift comprehensive advice. Very much the junior you want to work with if you possibly can.
Ravi Aswani - The 36 GroupYou can’t ask for more when Ravi is at hand - he is bright, precise, meticulous, and provides clear and honest advice.
Clara Benn - 7 King's Bench WalkA real star, she is fiercely bright but wears it lightly and has a superb ability to digest and marshal the factual picture.
Oliver Caplin - Twenty EssexA very impressive junior who really knows his stuff and is ahead of the game.
Benjamin Coffer - Quadrant ChambersHe has a very sound technical knowledge about the commodities trading industry.
Ben Gardner - Quadrant ChambersHe is reassuringly confident on difficult legal points.
Sandra Healy - 7 King's Bench WalkHer robust views are much appreciated, as are her high-quality analytical skills.
Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexA hardworking junior who shows skill in commodities and shipping matters.
Mark Jones - The 36 GroupAn experienced counsel in matters concerning the sale and carriage of physical commodities.
Susannah Jones - Twenty EssexThorough and meticulous, she is always on top of the brief.
Angharad Parry - Twenty EssexAn impressive commodities practitioner who is bright, switched on, hardworking and very user-friendly.
Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexA fantastic junior who is highly intelligent and great to work with.
Charles Priday - 7 King's Bench WalkHe focuses on the details and provides a careful analysis of cases.
Paul Toms - Quadrant ChambersHe has a brilliant mind and balances being completely on top of the law and procedure with an approachable and commercial slant.
David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersHe has a first-rate brain and excellent judgement, and is prodigiously hardworking, urbane and perceptive.
Sushma Ananda - 7 King's Bench WalkA bright, hardworking, careful and highly capable junior.
Tom Bird - Quadrant ChambersHe is very responsive and adaptable, his composure is reassuring and his easy-going manner makes him easy to work with.
Thomas Corby - Twenty EssexA rising star who is particularly recommended for shipping and commodities matters.
Max Davidson - Quadrant ChambersHe is very bright, he grasps the legal issues and commercial aspects of a dispute quickly, and he works at an impressive pace.
Josephine Davies - Twenty Essex ‘Precise in her work and excellent in technical matters, she is also straightforward and pleasant to work with.
Henry Ellis - Quadrant ChambersDiligent, hardworking and personable, he effortlessly manages to strike the right balance between technical legal expertise and a commercial and strategic attitude.
Colleen Hanley - Twenty Essex ‘A hardworking and highly capable junior with experience in the court and in arbitral tribunals.
Paul Henton - Quadrant ChambersHe is very bright, client-friendly and practical, and he masters the facts of the case quickly.
Charles Holroyd - 7 King's Bench WalkA strong junior for shipping, commodities and international trade.
Marcus Mander - 7 King's Bench WalkVery bright and very responsive, he gives you the confidence that everything is covered.
Simon Milnes - Twenty EssexA bright and commercial junior with experience in both London and Singapore.
Sean Snook - Twenty EssexCommercial and bright, he has experience in court and in arbitration in both shipping and commodities.
Peter Stevenson - Quadrant ChambersHe is razor-sharp, very commercial and excellent with clients, and he has an impressive ability to deftly get to the heart of any issue.

Commodities in London Bar

Twenty Essex

Twenty Essex is 'still considered the leading set for commodities matters'. Members have extensive experience in private international law and frequently represent major commodities trading houses in high-value disputes. Their work is closely tied to the set's prominence in shipping and insurance matters. Co-head of chambers Duncan Matthews QC has more than 30 years' experience in shipping and commodities matters and he recently led prominent junior Susannah Jones in a successful $32m claim by Natixis against commodities broker and trader Marex for breach of a conditional repo agreement in relation to a metal spot purchase contract. Experienced silk Timothy Young QC and new 2020 silks Henry Byam Cook QC and Phillip Riches QC are among the set's other stars. The clerks are well led by Arron Zitver, whose 23 years' experience in instructions in the shipping, commodities and insurance sectors.

7 King's Bench Walk

7 King's Bench Walk is 'a market leader in this area and has great strength in depth', according to one client. 'It has experts in commodities plus expertise in insurance and shipping, which strengthens its involvement in commodities disputes', says another. Members are skilled in all aspects of the trade of goods, including cargo damage and theft, bill of lading fraud, and breach of obligations under contracts of international sale and purchase. Robert Bright QC has a stellar reputation in the commodities arena and he recently led outstanding junior Sandra Healy in Septo v Tintrad, an $11m dispute concerning the supply of contaminated and off-spec fuel oil. Peter MacDonald Eggers QC, Jessica Sutherland, and the 'unfailing responsive' Clara Benn are among the set's highly respected practitioners. 'The clerks are, without exception, outstanding and absolutely committed to providing a first-class service'.

Quadrant Chambers

Quadrant Chambers is 'a very commercial set and has an increasing status and presence in the commodities and shipping markets' and is considered by some to be 'at the top of the list for international trade disputes, including those concerning commodities'. The set frequently acts for major commodities trading houses in matters relating to the full range of hard and soft commodities and the carriage thereof. Simon Rainey QC is 'at the very top of the league' and he recently led promising junior Ben Gardner in a dispute relating to the performance of a 25-year contract for the supply of LNG worth $350m. Yash Kulkarni QC, who took silk in 2018, and new 2020 silk Stewart Buckingham QC are among the set's other outstanding practitioners. Clients praise the 'excellent and prompt service' from the clerks who are 'responsive and friendly – nothing is too much trouble'.

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is 'very user-friendly' and clients note that 'you can always find the suitable barrister and there are juniors who are very intelligent and easy to work with'. The set has a long history in the shipping and commodities arena and continues to be involved in high-value arbitrations. Graham Dunning QC has 35 years' experience in shipping and commodities matters and his recent work includes high-value fraud matters relating to the storage of metal. Nigel Eaton QC recently handled high-value matters relating to coal, mining and energy. Prominent junior David Walsh acted for BMCE Bank International in a two-week trial concerning a cargo of steel billets that went missing in Nigeria. 'You cannot fault the clerks room', notes one source who praises senior clerk Joe Ferrigno.

The 36 Group

36 Stone, which is part of The 36 Group, is a dedicated commodities, shipping and international trade set that is 'down to earth, effective and reliable'. Members have extensive experience in contractual matters including bills of lading, charterparties, contracts of affreightment and commodities issues arising in the context of shipping. Joint head of chambers Vasanti Selvaratnam QC is known for her commercial and practical approach and she represented a Malaysian Bank in relation to a letter of credit dispute raising issues of whether documents in a commodity transaction were presented timeously. Ravi Aswani, who is frequently engaged to handle both the physical and paper elements of commodities transactions and has experience in matters before specialist trade bodies including GAFTA and FOSFA, and Charles Debattista, who has more than 40 years' experience, are among the set's greatly respected juniors. Clients note that the clerks are 'always ready and always quick in responding'.